Category Archives: Essence

Graveyard Nail Stencils with NailPolishCanada (& how to score your own set of vinyls for free!)

We’re over halfway to Halloween, which it’s time to get serious about Halloween nail designs! & what is more Halloween than spooky graveyard nails! Thanks to What’s Up Nails & Nail Polish Canada, I had a quick & easy time creating the spookiest of nails! 🎃 

The polishes used for this manicure were:

  • Base Coat: OPI Natural Nail Base Coat
  • Top Coat: Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat
  • Essie Go Ginza
  • OPI Auroa Berry-alis 
  • China Glaze Sleeping Under the Stars
  • Essence Back to Black 
  • What’s Up Nails Graveyard Stencils c/o: Nail Polish Canada 

These graveyard vinyls are great because they have multiple ways you can use them—my favourite is to use them as a stencil & paint in the design. I found it worked best by sponging on the black using a tiny piece of make up sponge. You could also apply the stencil to your nail & paint over top or you could use the vinyl itself & seal it all in with top coat. Each sheet of Graveyard vinyls comes with 20 vinyls (inner & outer) in small & large size which means you have a ton of graveyard nails to do in the lead up to Halloween. 

I’ve been lucky enough to team up with Nail Polish Canada to share a code for TEN of my readers to score their very own graveyard vinyls just in time for Halloween! You can click here & enter the code E75337KJX9A1B in order to claim your own set of vinyls. 

What do you think of these graveyard nails? What Halloween design are you most excited to wear this year? Let me know in the comments below. 🖤

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SWATCH SUNDAY—Essence Out Of Space Stories in Beam Me Up!

Happy Swatch Sunday! Hope you’re having an exciting weekend. I’m excited because I was at my local Shoppers Drug Mart & found they’ve recently put out the Essence Out Of Space Stories collection. I actually squealed when I saw them, which lead to awkward stares from those around me. Haha. 

I first saw these shades when Mani Geek posted about them, but was disappointed they were only available on the website. Well surprise… not anymore! I decided to only pick one (for now) which turned out to be a hard decision. I must have picked up each shade & put it down again about 3 times before I finally decided on Beam Me Up! 

Beam Me Up! is a vibrant pink with golden shimmer with a slight scattered holo. This was two coats, plus top coat. I’ve been a fan of Essence shades for a long, long time & I always get so excited when new collections are released & this shade definitely lives in to the inner excitement I had brewing for these shades! This pink is just perfect & it manages to stand out from the other pink scattered holos in my stash. 

This pink is seriously everything. That little bit of scattered holo takes a pretty polish & makes it a gimme gimme gimme polish. Also I have to mention how much I love the Star Trek inspired names! I grew up in a totally Trekky house so it’s a nice bit of added geekiness. 

Have you found any of the Essence Out Space Stories shades in stores yet? These polishes had definitely only been recently added at this location (I usually go there every couple days) so if you haven’t found them yet, keep checking. I plan on checking my local Superstore (Loblaws) to see if they’ve added them to that display as well. 

Have a great Sunday everyone! 💅🏻

Sparkly Red Stamping 

I’ve been seriously digging red nails lately. They’ve been a favourite of mine for a long, long time—I almost used to exclusively wear red nails during my late teens, early twenties—so I’ve accumulated quite the stash of crimson polish. & even though my days of just wearing red are a bit behind me, that doesn’t stop me from buying good red polishes when I see them so my stash has continued to grow.

 I recently found a beautiful red at my local Lawtons (one of my favourite stores for polish steals) & I found a red shade from L’Oréal (Carmin Parisien) that seemed to me to be more opaque than most reds, so I had to buy it! Even though I love red nails, I find that a lot of red shades are not opaque & usually show some degree of visible nail line. Lucky for me, L’Oréal Carmin Parisien is completely opaque in 2 coats! This pretty much cements it as my new go to red. 

The polishes I used for this manicure were:

  • Base Coat: OPI Natural Nail Base Coat
  • Top Coat: Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Top Coat
  • L’Oréal Carmin Parisien 
  • CND World Crimson Sparkle
  • Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Black Heart
  • Born Pretty Store Clear Jelly Stamper (item #38611)
  • Essence Cosmetics Stampy Set stamping plate. 

I’ve actually been thinking about buying this stampy set from Essence for a while, but I had some Optimum Points to spend so I decided to pick it up. The very first stamping set I ever bought was from Essence, & they’ve definitely upped their game since I bought that one—the images actually fit my whole nail now! For a beginner curious about the whole stamping business, this is a great little set to try it out & see if you like it (especially for under $5). 

What do you think of these sparkly red nails? What colour do you love the most on your nails? Let me know in the comments below! 

Deep & Dark Vintage Floral Nails 

Okay so I know every time I paint floral on my nails I gush that they’re my absolute favourite floral… but I swear this time I really mean it! It may have something to do with the super vampy perfect-for-Fall base colour. These are definitely not a Spring floral & I think that’s why I love it so much. I am also really in love with the slightly messy look of this floral–they’re not perfect, & I think that’s what makes them so perfect to me. 

For this manicure, the polishes I used are:

  • Base Coat: OPI Natural Nail Base Coat
  • Top Coat: Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Top Coat
  • Essence Plump Power 
  • Sally Hansen X-treme Wear Mauve Over
  • Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Pretty Peony 
  • Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Montley Hue
  • Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Black Heart
  • Sally Hansen I ♥️ Nail Art pen in Green
  • Sally Hansen X-treme Wear Kiwi Bikini
  • Quo by ORLY Diva 
  • Large & Small dotting tool 
  • Small detail brush from Bundle Monster

Obviously nothing could make me love this mani any more…. except adding Matte top coat to it! It’s been forever since I mattified anything, so it was long long over due. For this mani I used an inexpensive matte top coat I picked up on vacation this summer for a $1, but if you’re looking for suggestions my all time favourite Matte top coat is L’Oréal The Matte Velvet top coat. 

Anyone else just love love love Matte nails as the weather gets cooler & Fall creeps into the air? Maybe it’s because I always grab my darker shades & they look so fabulous mattified? Whatever the reason, it makes me very very happy! 


What do you think of this vintage floral design? Which do you like better–shiny or matte? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

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Fall Leaf Stamping 🍁

Sorry for my lack of posting this week. If you follow me on Instagram you would have saw that I was struck down by the gluten gods this past weekend & I’ve been recovering from a particularly bad attack the last couple days. I spent Monday & Tuesday in bed sleeping but I finally had a bit of a burst of energy, enough at least that I could post this mani. 

& can I just say I freaking love how this design turned out?! Okay so my husband may have said that he thought they looked like spiderwebs but he’s a boy & it doesn’t count. 😂 

For this manicure, the products I used were: 

I started off with a base shade of This Isn’t Iceland the used my other OPI shades to create a Saran Wrap splatter. I topped that with clear nail polish that I knew would smear the polishes so it blended them together better. Then I stamped the leaf print over top over the blend using Back to Black to finish the design. I topped everything with top coat to seal in the design, & used a brush dipped in acetone to clean up around the cuticles. I love using Back to Black for stamping because not only does it stamp well, it cleans up easily & doesn’t leave my cuticles stained black when using acetone. There is nothing worse! 

I’m digging this pattern. I wish I could have gotten a picture with an actual leaf but mine aren’t quite on fire yet. I’ll have to repeat this stamping again when the leaves are in full colour change, just for the chance to take a picture! That, or I’ll recreate one of my all time favourite Fall designs. 

What do you think of these Fall leaf nails? Do you see leaves or spider webs? Let me know what you think in the comments below! 

Some of these lovely polishes were all gifted to me by OPI as part of the #PreenMeVIP program. 

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Black & White Chevron Accent Nails


I hope I’m not the only one who takes pictures of their nails, & then totally forgets to post them. I blame it on my excitement over the exciting polishes which have come my way recently (hello OPI Iceland collection!) I did these nails a few weeks back, & totally forgot to share them! So while going through pictures on my phone, I knew I’d have to post them ASAP because who doesn’t love a good chevron design.

For this manicure, the polishes I used are:

  • Base Coat: Cutex Brittle Nail Fix
  • Top Coat: Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat
  • OPI My Chihuahua Bites!
  • Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hard To Get
  • Essence Back to Black
  • Snail Vinyls Single Chevron Vinyls

You can never go wrong with a good Black & white accent nail (or nails). Also this mani shows off my love for OPI My Chihuahua Bites! which is forever & always my favourite coral-y red. I’ve been so caught up with Fall colours & polishes I haven’t even thought about bright polishes, & looking at pictures of this design is making me think I might need one or two more Summer-y manicures before I officially say hello to Fall. Plus red nails are forever my favourite, even if I don’t wear them as often as I used to. 


What do you think of these black & white chevron accent nails. Do you have a favourite accent nail/colour combo you love to wear? Let me know in the comments below! 

Purple Butterflies with #thenailartsquad


Today I have a very special manicure to brought to you by The Nail Art Squad. We got together to create beautiful purple butterfly designs in honour of Epidermolysis Bullosa. Epidermolysis Bullosa is a rare genetic disease that causes the blistering of skin, & has no known cure & in severe cases can be fatal. Children with Epidermolysis Bullosa are often called “butterfly children” which is why we chose butterflies to create (purple is the colour used for the awareness of the disease). This was a personal manicure for our group to take on as one of our members recently lost a friend to the disease. 

For my manicure, the products I used are:

  • Base Coat: OPI Natural Base Coat
  • Top Coat: Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat
  • Essie Go Ginza
  • Essie Play Date 
  • LA Colors Color Craze Orchid
  • Essence Black Is Back
  • Unknown stamping plate (which I bought as part of a set at Dollarama years ago.)

These nails were simple to do, but turned out so beautiful. I thought about freehanding butterfly wings, but didn’t think I could do them justice & because we were creating these nails for such a special reason I wanted them to be as perfect as possible. The stamping plate I used was found in a set at the Dollarama years ago, but as you can see the image stamped perfectly clear. 


I feel so honoured I could join in bringing awareness to such a special cause. 💜 to see the other purple butterfly manicures, don’t forget to check out the hashtag #thenailartsquad on Instagram. 

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Mani Swap with @hjs_nails!


Good morning lovelies! Hope you’re enjoying your week so far, & what’s left of August. Isn’t it crazy how quickly the month is speeding by? Don’t get me wrong, I’m beyond excited for Fall but it is crazy to think how quickly this Summer has speed by. 

I thought I would break up the Fall colours I’ve been obsessing over, & joint in a fun (& bright & colourful) mani swap with Hannah of @hjs_nails! For this swap I picked her super neat abstract design, & she recreated my recent watercolour lines design (& lets be honest, she did it 100x better! I’m so jealous!) 

For this design, I used: 

  • Base Coat: OPI Natural Nail Base Coat 
  • Top Coat: Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat
  • Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Pretty Peony
  • Essie In The Cab-ana 
  • Essie Splash of Grenedine
  • Essence Back to Black
  • Small Bundle Monster dotting tool 

I thought this was such a neat design when I originally away Hannah’s so when she was looking for someone to swap with I knew already what design I was going to pick! Plus it’s such a great pop of colour which I kind of just needed in my life. You can never go wrong with a good abstract nail & the right pop of colour. 

What do you think of our swap? Let me know in the comments below! & don’t forget to head over to Hannah’s instagram & give her a follow if you’re not following her already. 💜

Easy Navy & Neon Half Moons 

I’m sure I’m not the only one whose first nail art involved those paper hole re-enforcements. This design is very reminiscent of those early nail art designs when all I had at my nail art disposal was those little sticky circles & a $1.99 dotting tool by Essence. & even though it’s a relatively simple design, I think it looks so classy & chic! 

For this manicure, I used:

  • Base Coat: Cutex Brittle Nail Fix
  • Top Coat: Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat
  • China Glaze Purple Panic
  • China Glaze Sleeping Under the Stars
  • Essie Jiggle Hi, Jiggle Lo
  • Paper Hole re-enforcements (I buy mine from the Dollar Store)
  • Small dotting tool (like this one from Essence!)  

If you’re looking for an easy, simple nail art design this would be a great option! The hardest part is waiting for your base colour to dry (& thanks to quick dry top coat, even that comes pretty easy.) I really like this colour combination–you have Purple Panic with all its neon beauty topped with Sleeping Under the Stars which has that very pretty pink shimmer that compliments the neon pink really well. This is a great in-between mani. & a little more sparkle by adding those gold dots. 


What do you think of this mani? What is your favourite old school nail art technique? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Easy Pink Gradient Dotticure

Gradient dotticures never get old to me. They’re such a quick, easy option for nail art & sometimes I’m all about the quick & easy manicures! While I used to be able to stay up all night creating complex & time consuming design, I just don’t always have that option anymore (& when I do the next day is always rough!)

 For anyone who is just getting into nail art, I’m always quick to suggest trying out dotticures because you don’t really need any tools since a bobby pin works easily, & they’re hard to mess up! Back in the early days of my nail art journey, I probably wore a gradient dotticure twice a week if not more. There is just so many ways to do it! 

For this manicure, the polishes I used were:

  • Base Coat: Cutex Brittle Nail Fix
  • Top Coat: Cutex Quick Dry Top Coat
  • Essie Splash of Grenedine
  • Essence Black is Back
  • Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Hard to Get
  • Essie No Place Like Chrome
  • Small Dotting Tool or Bobby Pin

Quick & easy. I’ve been looking back at super old manicures from my early nail art days & thinking about doing a whole beginner nail art series featuring some of my early nail art designs & some tips for starting out!

What do you think of this dotticure? Do you love a good gradient dotticure too? Let me know in the comments below!